Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The Kamienski Family gives the Santa Train a big "thumbs up" (minus the Santa) !
Sunday, December 28, 2008
The Christmas of 2008 is Benjamin's year to feel this way. It started when I was shopping in early December and Santa must have been on a break and was headed back to the "set-up" North Pole in the middle of the mall. I motioned to Benjamin to check out Santa and I knew right away this was the year. My usually friendly son gave Santa a look that said, "don't think of coming too close big man." But in my optimistic parenting mind I thought, "maybe this will pass."
A little more than two weeks before Christmas, we booked a ride on the Santa Train at the Whippany Rail Museum. My thought was in a setting that Benjamin enjoys maybe he would warm up to Jolly Ole' Saint Nick. Wrong. While Benjamin didn't kick and scream like I have seen other children meltdown when faced by with being put in the arms of Santa, he did hide his head and cling to me.
So family and friends this is it, this is Benjamin's 2008 picture (see above) with Santa. I did admit to my Mom I felt bad that I didn't get the traditional mall photo with Santa and Benjamin. Maybe I should have tried but the thought of standing in a LONG line only to be disappointed and aggravated at the end didn't seem to be fun for anyone involved. My Mom agreed, "why torture him Jennifer?" Of course, there is always 2009 but I still love this picture because it has my favorite boy in it. Sorry Santa maybe next year.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Yes, I am getting older and yes I would have loved the gift of Botox for my birthday but I also think I am getting wiser (think is the operative word in the sentence). I realize now it isn't about the gifts (while the gifts are still cool) having such incredible family and friends to share it with are what makes birthday's special. Thank you to all my friends and family for making me feel so special each year and every day of the year.
Monday, December 15, 2008
When we got there, we realized we wouldn't be chopping down any trees. I guess I misread but that seemed to ok with the Wally and Ben. Going early to pick up a tree, we got the pick of the liter -- a rather tall, shaped like a triangle, douglas fir. Benjamin was happy, Wally was happy and I was happy with the choice (I've been known to cry with a bad tree choice). What usually takes us about 15 minutes or more to pick out a tree, take about a minute. Our tree was the first we looked at that day. The bird folk said they would tie the tree to the car while we enjoyed the activities.
Our first stop, to check out the hawk. We had to keep a bit of a distance out of fear of Benjamin trying to pet the bird, but we got the great picture below. Next, we made a bird feeder and ornaments (no pictures but the feeder is in a tree outside and the ornament is on the tree inside). Following the craft projects, we headed in for cocoa and apple juice. And it doesn't end there, after the refreshments, Benjamin got his face painted for the first time with who else but Frosty! Finally, Benjamin got to pet a few snakes all this when getting a Christmas tree.
For the past 100 years, Santa has arrived in Morristown on the roof of Century 21 (the former Macy's) then brought down to the adoring masses via a fire truck. This year, the Kamienski Family members were present for his arrival. While Wally and I cheered, Benjamin was looking to head back in doors where it was a bit warmer. I don't really blame him - it was mighty chilly out that night. Ben seemed to be more interested in the fire truck than the big guy in the red suit. Having gauged his level of interest, we decided not to wait in a long line to see him but rather go to visit Santa when the crowds died down. (P.S. We still haven't visited Santa in The Green -- maybe this weekend).
After giving our names, Wally and I were "released". We were then given "the speech" of how they have to consider all calls like this serious, blah, blah, blah.
Now, I was scared. What if there was a murderer in the neighborhood wielding a knife? Wally decided to wait until they checked the situation out with the neighbor that called in the false claim. Turns out we have a senile old woman living next door who claims that she saw a child be harmed in our residence. Good to know we have a crazy lady living next door -- who thinks we are harming children.
If that wasn't enough, Wally went to start the Saab this morning and it wouldn't start. Happy Monday to The Kamienski Family!
Today more than 100 New Jersey bloggers have banded together to help raise awareness of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, which is in dire need of our help.
Here's what you can do to help:Make a monetary contribution: Visit http://www.njfoodbank.org/. Donate food: Drop off a bag of food at your local food pantry. Click here to find a food pantry near you: http://www.sefan.org/. Organize a food drive: We can help explain the logistics of starting a food drive. Just call 908-355-FOOD. Help "Check Out Hunger:" Look for the "Check Out Hunger" coupons at your local supermarket and donate. No donation is too small! Remember the reason for the season!
Check out these sobering facts:
- More than 35 million Americans, including 12 million children, either live with or are on the verge of hunger. - USDA, Household Food Security in the United States, 2006
- The number of families coming to churches and food banks trying to get help to feed their families has increased approximately 20 percent. - National Anti-Hunger Organizations, 2008 Blueprint to End Hunger
- According to a recent survey, 6 percent of Americans said they or someone in their immediate family has gone to bed hungry in the past month because they could not afford enough food. - 2008 Hormel Hunger Survey
- One out of every five New Jersey families does not earn enough to afford the basic necessities – housing, food and child care – although 85 percent of these households have at least one family member who is working. – Poverty Research Institute, June 2008
- In New Jersey alone, an estimated 250,000 new clients will be seeking sustenance this year from the state’s food banks. – “No Food on the table,” By Judy Peet, The Star-Ledger, Oct. 23, 2008
- At the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), requests for food have gone up 30 percent, but donations are down by 25 percent. - CFBNJ
- Warehouse shelves that are typically stocked with food are bare and supplies have gotten so low that, for the first time in its 25 year history, the food bank is developing a rationing mechanism. - CFBNJ
Help a family today!
Here is the full list of participating Bloggers for “We Can’t Let This Bank Fail” campaign. Visit their blogs and show some love.
1) JerseyBites2) RedBankGreen.com3) Jersey Girl Cooks4) Simply Sable5) John and Lisa are eating in South Jersey6) Padma's Kitchen7) Chefdruck8) Life Lightly Salted9) My Italian Grandmother10) Cook Appeal11) Crotchety Old Man Yells at Cars12) Mommy Vents13) This Full House14) Paper Bridges15) Motherhood Avenue16) The Kamienski Chronicles 17) Down the Shore with Jen 18) Fits and Giggles19) House Hubbies Home Cooking20) Nourish Ourselves21) Partybluprints.com22) Tommyeats.com 23) Off the broiler 24) Mrs. Mo’s New Jersey Baby 25) IamNotaChef.com 26) SimplyBeer.com 27) HistoryGeek.com28) Savy Source Newark29) Momlogic New Jersey 30) SurvivingNJ.com/blog31) SurvivingNJ.blogspot.com32) JerseyGirlGuide.com 33) Best of Roxy34) Citizen Mom.net35) Lynetteradio.com36) Jersey Beat 37) Pop Vulture Phil38) JerseySmarts.com39) LongBeachIslandSummers.com40) WildwoodSummers.com 41) Mike Halfacres Blog 42) Somerset08873 43) Family, Friends and Food44) KateSpot.com45) NewJerseyMomsBlog.com46) JCRegister.com47) New Jersey Real Estate Report48) Riverviewobserver.com49) More Monmouth Musings50) Man of Infirmity51) Another Delco Guy in South Jersey52) SweetNicks.com53) Average Noone54) Cleary’s Notebook55) Welcome to my Planet56) The Center of New Jersey Life57) Sharon’s Food Blog58) Morristown, Chatham, Summit, and Madison NJ Real Estate59) Midtown Direct Real Estate News60) New Jersey Real Estate 61) BlowUpRadio.com62) LazlosDen.com63) The Ridgewood Blog64) Book a Week with Jen65) Banannie66) Cartoongoddess.com67) Matawan Advocate68) Take Back the Kitchen69) The Joy of Toast70) Route 5571) Montclair Kids.com72) SaveJersey73) Stompbox74) Joe the Blogger75) Environmental Republican76) Stacey Snacks77) Subversive Garden78) New Jersey Pathfinder79) Cooking With Friends Blog80) Triple Venti81) Read All About It82) Rich Lee on Media83) Likelihood of Success84) Cape Cuisine85) The Business At Hand86) NewJerseyTaxRevolution87) Figmentations88) MiddletownMike89) Caviar and Codfish90) A Day in the Life91) Mack’s Journey Through Life92) Alice’s Restaurant93) Tiger Hawk94)Politics Patrol, The Bob Ingle Blog95) The Food Chain96) Henson’s Hell97) Cranbury Conservative98) Baristanet99) New Jersey: Politics Unusual100) Jersey Shore Blog101) Plainfield Today102) Beacon Bulletin103) Journal Square Jersey City 07306
Saturday, December 13, 2008
We picked up my Mom at around 7:45 and made our way into NYC. We parked right on 42nd street and started to make the journey through the masses to our building. While my heart was still beating rapidly thinking we were not going to make it again, we had no problems whatsoever! We met the Valentin Family again in front of the building and made our way up. And this year, it was PACKED! We found a not so crowded office that Benjamin could squeeze by the window and watch the parade go by. As I was preparing to take a picture of Benjamin by the window, I noticed my battery was dead so sorry no pictures to accompany this blog (you will all just have to visual the moment). I wasn't sure how he was going to react to the parade if he would get bored in a minute or two but he actually watched the parade and helped point various details out to me including spotting Cookie Monster in a window of a float (the kid has good eyes).
Eventually the office got way to warm and our group made our way downstairs to the street, Wally put Benjamin up on his shoulders to get a better view of the action. Ben yelled with excitement each time a new balloon passed. At one point, he did want to get down and run around but with Mom, Dad, Grandma and Aunt Kristi around he wasn't getting a step away from the circle we formed around him.
We headed back up after Michael saw the Pokemon balloon. We also didn't want to miss the visit from Santa. As we settled in upstairs, the arrival of Santa was announced and we headed to the elevator banks to greet him but the joint was crammed with wall to wall kids. I made my way up with Ben in my arms as close as possible. As we waited for Ben's gift, I guess Ben got, literally, tired of waiting because in the midst of the mayhem he fell asleep.
Benjamin slept but woke up while waiting for our car but was pleasantly surprised to see a new dump truck gift from Santa. We all piled in the car and headed back to Jersey every one having enjoyed the parade. What a difference a year makes!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
We headed in and made our way up to the new (well pretty new about 2 years old) children's section of the library. As soon as we entered, he yelled BOOKS! While Benjamin does watch his share of television, I have created a balanced environment for him which includes reading him LOTS of books. Benjamin is read so many books he actually asks for books by name now including "ni-ght ni-ght oon" or better known as Goodnight Moon.
After yelling books, he began running around the library. At that point, I had to try to contain the level of excitment. So I asked him to use his inside voice, which I'm not sure he gets the concept yet, and asked him to pick out a book with Mommy so we could read a new story at the library. He wasn't digging the books Mommy picked out so I asked him what book he wanted to read and he told me, "cow books ba-ba." So we started our search for some cow books but trying to look for a cow book while trying to control a toddler was nearly impossible. My solution, of course, ask the librarian. Benjamin and I went to the librarian and I asked Benjamin to tell the librarian what he was looking for and he told her too, "cow books." And cow books, we got! From Click, Click Moo to No Milk!, the librarians were able to find us a wonderful selection of cow books to read. Armed with a pile of books, we got a library card and checked out. It was then I realized why people carry around book totes. How was I going to get six hard covered books home (without a stroller) and Ben? While it was probably the toughest one block I have ever walked, balancing books and a child in my arms (oh yes and purse), we made it home safe and sound. Ready to read our books!
Benjamin has fallen so in love with his library books I am afraid to return them but the beauty of the library is that there are whole new set of adventures waiting to be discovered. While he will miss his cow friends and asks for them by name now (I may have to buy Click, Click Moo), he'll learn to love a new set of friends. Maybe it will be pigs this time?
Around the same time the tree was dying, Wally and I were struggling to have a baby. The corner of the yard wasn't the only empty place for us at that time. When we finally received the news that we were indeed having a child, we knew how we wanted to commemorate the occasion, we would plant a tree for our first born -- new life for new life.
Just like Benjamin, who was only a small peanut when we brought him home, Ben's tree barely reached the top of the fence now it soars. This fall, we took a picture of Benjamin with his tree and I was in awe of both. Our Benjamin is now a little man becoming a funny, loving soul. While our tree is something that brings us beauty and wonder in our yard -- my how they have grown.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
What are the chances that I will shortly be reading a blog entitled: “A lot to be Thankful For…”
- Looking at ben enjoying stuffing and how much you love stuffing
- Your mom sharing the secret baker recipe for gravy
- Your dad showing walter how to carve the turkey
- How ben loves stuffing and how cute it is that he calls it tuffing!
- Thankful that JB is back from iraq
- Seeing your son with Walter watching football – the two most important men in your life
- And then … I cried.
- Boo boo boo…
Why the anger?
And most know this already because I had to shout out to the world, but my post on telling white lies to Benjamin was picked up for syndication:
If you get a chance stop by the blog and check out some of the other fantastic writers!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
As the mom of an overactive son, I knew an emergency call was going to happen sooner rather than later. I highly doubted that he would follow in his Mom's footsteps but rather more like his Dad who has had his share of broken body parts and stitches. The call came on Monday. I was at work ready to hit the bricks at around 5:30 (which is super unusual for me -- call it mother's instincts) when I received a call from Wally on my cell. The conversation was odd. Wally acting very formal. I knew something had to be wrong. After the formalities, he told me that there had been an accident with Ben (the now worst phrase in the English language). I asked if he was okay. He explained very calmly, but with a slight edge in his voice, that he had put a blanket on his head (something he likes to do that we discourage) and was walking around when he fell into the coffee table. Wally also said that there was a lot of blood but it had finally stopped. The worst of it was that his tooth was now pushed back -- his fabulously straight teeth were now not so perfect. I asked, most importantly, how was Ben feeling and Wally said that he had calmed down --though I heard his cries in the background.
I rushed out of work without looking back to head home to my injured son. I cursed every driver along the way. Why is it every time you need to get someplace the world's slowest driver has to box you in? With my road rage flaring, I made it home in one piece to see Ben. And Ben was Ben, all smiles like nothing ever happened. I asked Ben to open his mouth so I could assess the situation and my heart broke when I saw his little front bottom tooth pushed all the way towards the back of his mouth. I also noticed the blood all over Wally's shirt at the same time. Wally and I both looked at each other what should we do?
Before I finish the rest of the story, let me start off by saying contrary to popular belief I am not a hypochondriac mother. In fact, up until that very moment, I had never called in an emergency to the doctor. But with Ben's tooth looking sad and Wally's shirt splattered in blood, I knew the time had come to make the "off hours" call. I first called Ben's Pediatrician and they said as long as (and I quote) "his lip isn't busted" then I should call a dentist to see if he could be seen. Next issue, Ben is under 2 and hasn't seen a dentist yet. So I opened up the phone book and found the name of a children's dentist in Morristown. Thankfully, it happened to be one of the best calls I have made. I was hesitant to make the emergency page to the doctor but I said F-it. I realized at that moment I didn't care what the dentist thought of me my son's health was more important than a doctor's possible snide "another overprotective mom" comment. The dentist called me immediately back. She was completely understanding and actually said that I did the right thing by calling. I was given specific instructions by the dentist and was asked to bring him in on Wednesday.
That night, I hugged Benjamin tighter than I ever have before. I also said a prayer of Thanksgiving to God knowing that we could have been dealing with much worse. I think Wally and I also learned a little bit about ourselves that night. I think we both learned that when a crisis/emergency happens we can be brave enough to handle it when it comes to Ben.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
At the time, the media was the only way if we knew my brother was dead or alive. We were a desperate family. When we saw his face on 60 Minutes, Wally and I got a call from our friend John saying that he thought he saw them. I called my parents immediately who had already gotten a phone call from a nephew saying that he thought they saw him too. While it was a brief glimpse, we knew he was alive -- at least for that moment. We ordered copies of the footage and rewound and played several hundred times just to see his face. In the deep recesses of our minds, I knew we were all thinking the unthinkable, will this be the last image? Other the month, additional images from Reuters confirmed he was indeed still okay.
People often asked, 'did you talk with your brother? how is he doing?'. My response would be (because I wasn't in the mood for dumb questions and yes there are dumb questions), 'He's not one of those soldiers on the sidelines. He is actually one of the Marines fighting this war.' I couldn't eat or sleep. I was miserable to be around. I cried often and considered going on Prozac. Every phone call I received I expected the worst. As I saw hundreds of soldiers names reported as dead, the pain became harder and harder to take. I did the only thing I could do. I made him a PR darling. He was featured in The Bergen Record, The Star Ledger and even on MSNBC as the boy who always wanted to be a Marine - a true American hero. I attended rallies for the troops and supported my brother's efforts with yellow ribbons and pins for all who wanted them.
At the end of that month, I received the call that I had been waiting for. To hear my brother's voice, alive and well was like nothing I could ever put into words. It was a blessing my family will never take for granted.
If you don't agree with the politics of war, just know that there a real people/families that are effected by war each and every day. My family was one of the lucky ones. We still have my brother that I can call anytime of the day to say hello but other families don't have that luxury, that blessing anymore. So today on Veteran's Day, I salute my brother for his bravery and courage in the face of conflict. He is my American hero.
Today, I wanted to post a warning about a recent recall involving Mylicon (see below). I know MANY mothers consider it an answer to their prayers but they might want to refrain from using it for the time being or at least check out the lot number to see if they have an affected product. The post below also provides some more "natural" alternatives to calming a gassy baby.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
The evening provided for some lively discussion. I was feeling a bit like a failure as a Mom when most of the mothers there were mentioning how they NEVER allowed their children to watch television or play with anything besides wooden blocks. I on the other hand was guilty of letting a child under two watch Noggin (you got love Moose A. Moose) and letting him play with a variety of toys. However, there were a few women who stood up to say that rearing a child is a balance. I also feel that there is too much pressure on children to be perfect. Recalling back to my childhood, I do not remember having to read until we were in the first grade. Has it hurt me in life? No, I consider myself pretty successful but once again I digress.
My husband and I are raising a well-rounded child who loves to have books read to him as much as he loves his "shows". In fact, how can you deny that face a Leapfrog toy? When I brought home the various fridge toys I grabbed (since they only gave me one and I knew he would love the others), he nearly jumped out of his little pants. He literally squealed with excitement and every morning when he goes downstairs for breakfast this is the reaction I get when he sees it again for the first time. Thanks Leapfrog! We will continue to be fans throughout my sons development into a well-rounded boy.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
The Sunday before Halloween, Grandma got tickets for the entire family to attend Zoo Boo. The campaigning started as we lined up to get in (anyone attending next year - it is a good idea to get there in advance to avoid the crazy lines) the Zoo. A friendly "hi" was said by Ben to those standing in line with us. Next, a hi and a wave for the family in front of us on the train. Then a hi to the volunteers giving out candy then a hi to the animals. The hellos and waves continued throughout the day at the zoo. As we were getting off the carousel and Ben said yet another hi, an older couple commented, "boy, he is friendly guy." I said, "yes, he is running for mayor of the zoo." They smiled. I think we have their votes.
"Yes, my sock."
"Were you outside?"
"What about a tissue?"
"There wasn't a tissue around. I was holding him."
"What happened to the booger?"
"I don't know."
Monday, October 20, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I guess it is kind of like life there are very little perfect moments but having Benjamin has made me relish in the moments that aren't so perfect. In fact, those moments tend to be more fun. So when I look at a picture where Wally's eyes are closed, I am making a funny face trying to get Benjamin to smile and Ben is throwing his head back yelling at the both of us, I think -- perfect -- this is my family and I love it -- the perfect and the not-so-perfect moments.
Friday, October 10, 2008
My first entry is about the first (and I hope only) time we have left Benjamin with complete strangers (i.e. babysitters). And Dr. R, yes there are some grammatical errors but please forgive me.
Oh yes, dear friends and family make sure you post some comments so it looks like I'm popular and not a blogger who's friends and family only read her blog (while true not...everyone has to believe it).
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
It happened Monday night while trying to get him to go to sleep at quarter to ten. I didn't think I was being unreasonable the kid is 19 months and I can barely stay up past ten but he did not agree with my assessment. He wanted to play. I told him no, then Daddy told him no and then he cried - big tears. Wally caved and told him it was okay, but Ben knew I was unhappy with his display. Ben knew that he wasn't going to get one over on the ba-ba or so I thought...
He calmed down a bit and laid down by me on the couch (and for the record I don't have one of those kids that can just be put down in their crib - tried it and if you want to try again be my guest). He still was pretty angry. He started throwing his head back and I said, "Benjamin please stop that you are going to hurt Mommy." His response was to head butt me as hard as he could like some Ultimate Fighting Champion to shut me up. I immediately began to cry. Wally had to reprimand Ben and tell him that was not nice that he really hurt Mommy. Then Benjamin started to cry because he was scared or he knew by crying we would feel bad for him (I believe it was the latter). When he started to cry, I thought "hey, kid this is about me not you". But when he reached up and began to stroke me like he does to Bruin when I say "be nice to Bru", I knew I had to forgive him.
As I sit here still with a swollen eyelid and Benjamin continues to grow as a person, I will continue to remind him that violence is never the answer - unless someone is really asking for it then maybe it is ok. And maybe in his mind that night I was asking for it.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Before I had Benjamin, I will admit right here and now. I NEVER changed a diaper. Not one. I also didn't change Ben's diaper until he was about 2-3 weeks old (I had a c-section - doctor's orders). When friends and relatives asked me if they could change Ben's diaper, I said yes with great enthusiasm. Me I don't get the appeal of changing diapers. In fact, I can't wait until we are done with diapers in general. I am an old pro at it now. I can pretty much change Benjamin anywhere and under any circumstances. Call it my new found skill. However, there are people in my family who still have not experienced changing a diaper. Do I fault them? No. Who am I to say anything? If I could have gotten through life without doing it, I would wear it as badge of honor. Last week, it was my brother's turn to take the plunge.
I had a doctor's appointment on my day off. Now usually, I would get my Mom to help out but she was at the dentist. I called up J.B. and asked if he would be willing to help me out for a few hours well I went for a check up. He agreed because any extra time spent with Benjamin is a bonus for him. He arrived on schedule as promised (give or take a few minutes) and Benjamin forgot about Mommy as soon as Uncle was spotted. I gave Benjamin a kiss and few instructions to J.B. and off I went.
While checking out of the doctor's office and getting some instructions, I heard my phone ringing. It was call from my brother's cell probably wondering where I was. Here is how the call went down:
"Jenn where are you?"
"At the doctor's just leaving"
"How far is the doctor's office away"
"About 20 minutes, why is something wrong"
"I think Ben pooped...."
"Do you know where the diapers are?"
I then go into an explanation of where the diapers are and now the receptionist is curious as to who I am talking to. When I get off the phone, I explain to her that my brother is watching my son and he thinks he pooped. She asks if he is a bachelor and I tell her yes. She now thinks that this is the sweetest thing she is ever heard but I am thinking will he attempt this and if he does will there be poop on my rugs. I call him when I get into the parking lot to tell him to wait but he says he is going to do it. I call my mom to tell her the news -- we both pray Ben is agreeable. Just as I am about to tell my mom about the doctor visit, I get a call from my brother's cell phone. I think this might not be good. I hang up on my mom and get the call from J.B. He tells me everything is good but boy did it smell. I say welcome to the club. I promise myself not to check if the diaper is on correctly until after he leaves.
When I get home, Benjamin and his Uncle are playing with some cars and his clothes seem to be on okay. I also glance at the rug and notice no poop like I feared. When I later check his diaper, I notice that he even put the thing on right. In this Mom's and sister's eyes, this brother of mine is way ahead of the curve. So if there is a diaper changing medal out there I want to give it to my brother not just for his changing skills but for going above and beyond when it comes to his nephew. Congratulations!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Over forty years ago, my Dad was looking at high school head shot pictures in the wallet of my Mom's friend and said, "I have to meet her - that's the girl I'm going to marry." The mutual friend arranged the meeting. They had their first date and both "knew". If you ask either of them when did you first realize that you wanted to marry Mom/Dad? - they would both say that very first date. Less than a year after their first date they were married at Holy Rosary Church in Passaic, NJ with the reception being held in Aunt Dot's backyard. My Mom was just 18 and my Dad was 20.
They have been through some ups and downs. I'm sure some that I am not privy too but I know one thing is true their love has never wavered. They are an inspiration. The type of marriage all should aspire to be like. I am proud to be a product of this beautiful union. I am so blessed to have been raised by parents that love and respect one another and give real meaning to the term soul mate.
When my Dad is asked how long they have been married he alwasy says the amount and with the descriptor "glorious." So today, on their 40th Anniversary I want to say here is to 40 more glorious years of inspirational love.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Because of the "economic crisis", we have decided not to purchase any big ticket items at this time so we have resorted to other tactics for fixing the TV. When you read the next sentence don't think my family is too ghetto but to fix the picture on the TV we hit the TV. Yes, we give the TV a big whack to get the picture to look normal and not so distorted. Wally and I will take turns doing this.
The other day Benjamin was watching Dora and the picture was out of whack so Benjamin got off his monkey chair and gave the TV a smack. Wally and I were left speechless. Monkey see. Monkey do.
So to set the record straight, I want to have the Chanel with me in the casket (because I need to look super fabulous even in death) and before they are about to close the casket I want Nadia, my sisterhood in fashion, to reach in there, take it and enjoy my Chanel 2.55 as I know only she can.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Next, I am NOW (I mean right now) on the Martha Stewart Show. I mean right now!! Martha is producing a show on bloggers. About 10 seconds ago, we just got a calendar from a blogger who publishes cute pictures of animals and I think we are also getting a book. Oh yes, we just did. I am in the back row so not sure if I am going to be getting my second moment of fame this week. SHOW THE BACK! Make sure you are watching at 11 a.m. today! See if my fame continues and if I have to avoid the paparazzi and wear dark sunglasses from now on. Our the pressures of stardom.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
This past rainy Saturday, I decided to act on my awaited plan to rearrange the living room. Not that it particularly needed it, but mostly because I was tiring of the sameness of it. So, while attampting to fix the satellite cable, I moved the TV to the other side of the room and managed to get our 800 pound counch across the floor. Jenn came in and asked "Oh, are we changing the living room, now?" I said yes and informed her that we talked about this. Truth be told, we did talk about it and both agreed the 800 pound library was not in the best place for Ben and his playing habits. We did not, though, discuss and agree to how the change would be done.
Regardless, Jenn helped me in moving the furniture around, herself removing sliders from under the cabinet, and took herself away from something else (blogging) she was in the middle of. Once she saw the configuration I proposed, she recommended moving the couch to the other wall and arranging the chairs another way. It worked and is now done.
Jenn is selfless in alot ways and this is certainly one of the better examples. I usually spring things on her and without (much) hesitation, she always (somewhat reluctantly) is willing to take herself away from her plans and help me with mine. I usually let her know my appreciation by letting her know she is 'the bomb'. After this most recent episode, she is now to be known as 'the bomb squad' for being the bigger person when it comes to working through change.
Thanks Bomb Squad. You're the best.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
So many of my favorite memories throughout my life have one key component and the key to those wonderful memories are my best friend Kristi. Recently, I was reminded of one of my favorites after Wally and Benjamin visited Space Farm Zoo.
In the Fifth Grade, Kristi and I were preparing to receive Penance. Since we were best friends, we thought it would be a good idea to run our sins past one another before we talked with the priest. Here is how the conversation went:
Jenn - I think I will tell Father Roland that I was mean to my brother and swore sometimes
Kristi - Yeh, me too
Jenn - I'll probably also tell him I talked back to my Mom
Kristi - I'll probably say that too but I have one other thing
Jenn - What is it?
Kristi - I'm not sure if I want to tell
Jenn - Tell me! I'm your best friend
Kristi - Well ok. Do you remember when we want to Space Farm Zoo for our class trip in the first grade?
Jenn - Yeh, of course I remember
Kristi - Well, I forgot to get something for Billy so I had pick him something out quick. So I picked out a pencil. As I was waiting on line to pay, I was told that I had to leave now. So, I stole the pencil.
I was in shock! My best friend stole. Would she ever be forgiven? In our minds, this sin was bigger than any other sins we both committed. But being a supportive friend I said, "I'm sure God will forgive you and your penance won't be that bad." And I was right God did forgive her and her penance wasn't that bad. Besides, it would have been far worse if Billy hadn't gotten a gift - he would probably still bring it up today.
In our lives, there were many more sins we confessed to each other but none so memorable as the souvenir stolen from Space Farm. Happy Birthday Kristi to a friend I can confess anything to!
Over the years, I have tried to give them gifts that have given them an idea of how much they mean to me, but most fall short until June 06. In June of 2006, I gave them the promise of the greatest gift (I know they will agree) they would ever receive. You see on that beautiful sunny day, I gave them the news that they would be grandparents. Because that is the thing about being a grandparent - no matter how much you want to be one, it, ultimately, depends on two other people (in our case a whole cast of very able medical professionals) and the grace of God. It is a gift only your child can give to you -- the greatest gift your child can give to you.
My parents have always been proud of me but I never saw them look at me in such awe and admiration as when I was pregnant caring inside of me their grandchild. And when their grandchild was finally born, the sheer joy I brought to my parents life could never be measured.
Benjamin is the light of their lives. It is one time I don't mind playing second fiddle for my parents' attention. When I see my parents with Benjamin, it brings me back to my childhood and reminds me again and again how much love my parents brought into my life. They are the best of the best and even better. They love my son with all their hearts and then some.